The General vs. The President
- Author: H.W. Brands
- Title: The General vs The President
- Published: 2016
- Trivia: List of challenges 2017
Why did President Truman say ‘You’re fired” to 5 star General MacArthur in 1951?
- MacArthur lost all most of his support to enter presidential race 1952.
- He was questioned for 3 days in Washington after his dismissal
- as Commander of East Asian forces.
- He spoke roughly 90.000 words almost enough to fill a novel.
- What happened to the adoration he received upon his return to the US?
- Not many knew that Truman once called
- …MacArthur the most dangerous man in America.
- Truman saw some Caesarism
- ….lurking behind the 5 stars on his general’s cap.
- Truman was not a product of ‘elite America’.
- Truman did start courses toward a law degree and in business college
- ..but he never formally graduated or completed a degree.
- Truman was wiser than most politicians took him for.
- He never stopped learning.
- He read four or five newspapers each morning
- …so he would remain as well-informed as possible.
- I was impressed by his patience and ability to look at problems from a
- …broad point of view.
- Not only what MacArthur’s high-jinks meant to Asia
- …but more importantly for Europe struggling to recover from WW II
- …struggling to stand up to Stalin’s totalitarian vision of Eastern Europe.
- Listening to the tensions and political decisions as a response
- to the invasion of North Korea into South Korea sends chills down my spine.
- Truman was pragmatic and not prone to erratic statements
- (no twitter in those days).
- North Korea was trouble in 1950 and is still trouble in 2017
- I knew nothing about the details of the Korean War.
- Brands takes the reader from 25 June 1950
- …the invasion of South Korea by the North.
- …to May 3 1951 – 21 June 1951
- The Senate Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committees
- …began 7 weeks of hearings.
- They were investigating President Truman’s removal of
- …MacArthur from his command on 11 April 1951.
- Reading this book is addictive…learning more about Korean War.
- Post-Cold War research in Soviet Archives has revealed that the Korean War
- was begun by Kim Il-sung with the express permission of Stalin.
- Three times Truman wanted to fire his chief General in Korea
- …but he did not.
- In early 1951 MacArthur crossed a ‘red line’ according to Washington.
- Truman’s reaction was disbelief and controlled fury.
- I knew nothing about the Korean War.
- This book was the best place to start!
- #MustRead 5 parts, 68 chapters, 416 pages
- #MustListen – audio book is excellent! (15 hrs 22min)
- For all the homage Truman paid to straight talk…
- he also understood the value of silence.
- Truman would be a great role-model for the present administration.